DLSA to pay compensation to rape victim under repealed 2013 scheme: Punjab High Court.
The Punjab High Court, on 2nd February, 2023, in ABC v/s State of Haryana and others (CWP-16867-2022 (O&M), directed compensation to the victims in accordance to the 2013 compensation scheme. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A writ petition was filed on failure of compensation to the victim. The eight year old daughter of the petitioner was subjected to penetrative sexual assault in the year 2014. In the year 2015, the Additional Sessions Judge convicted the accused of offences under Section 376 (2) IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012. The accused was further directed to imprisonments for 10 years and a fine of ₹5,000. However, there was failure to forward the compensation amount to the Legal Services Authority. The grant of compensation under the Haryana Victim’s Compensation Act, 2013 was in force at that time and the petitioner was entitled to receive compensation under the same. Similarly, there was no compensation awarded under section 357 CrPC. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended for additional grant in lieu of the scheme of 2013, as the victim was a minor at that time, 8 years of age.
The Court upheld the fact that the incident occurred in the year 2014 and judgement was delivered in the year 2015. The compensation act of 2013 was in force at that time. It was held that the victims cannot be denied compensation due to an act of oversight by the court. It was an obligation on the court to guard the victims’ best interest as she was a minor at the time of commission of the crime. The court is bound to act as the supreme guardian of her best interest as parens patriae. Also, a nominal increased of ₹50,000 was observed, under the previous scheme, which was granted by the court.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ARYA THAKUR.